Jamaica to Host CARIFTA Games in April 2022

Sheri-Kae McLeod

Jamaica will be the host country for the 49th CARIFTA Games, scheduled to take place from April 16 to 18, 2022.

The announcement was made by the President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), Garth Gayle, during the NACAC Special Congress on November 6th.

Gayle said his organization received official word from the Minister of Sport, Olivia Grange, that the government of Jamaica gave its support to hosting the Games over the Easter Weekend in 2022. This will be the eighth time that Jamaica has hosted CARIFTA.

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Minister Grange is of the view that hosting the Carifta Games would be an ideal fit with the government’s plans for a year-long celebration of the country’s Diamond Jubilee as an independent nation. There is no word yet on whether or not spectators will be allowed to attend the event.

The meet normally runs over three days during the Easter period and includes over 150 separate events. The Games has two age categories for boys and girls: under-17 and under-20, the latter in line with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) guidelines for junior athletes. The meet is run entirely under IAAF rules.

The 2021 staging of the CARIFTA Games, which would have taken place in Bermuda, was canceled due to COVID-19. The Games, first held in 1972, were set to be staged in Bermuda for the fifth time.

Jamaica has won more medals at the Carifta Games than any other member federation.

During the 2004 renewal, Jamaican Usain Bolt signaled his future greatness at just 17, when he became the first junior athlete to break the 20-second mark over 200 metres, crossing the winning line in 19.3 seconds.

The Games has also produced other Olympic Champions such as Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica, Kim Collins of St Kitts-Nevis and Pauline Davis-Thompson of the Bahamas, Alleyne Francique of Grenada and Obadele Thompson of Barbados.